Krabi is a beach side Town in Thailand and is blessed with natural beauty. The breathtaking limestone peaks in the middle of the Sea is a highlight of these parts. Located 800 Kms south of Bangkok, Krabi will be enjoyed by adventurers, yachtsmen, scuba-divers, snorkelers and leisure tourists. The coral fringed islands are ideal for kayaking, sailing, bird watching, snorkeling and trekking. Mangrove forests, tropical islands, palm fringed beaches, waterfalls, caves, and queer rock formations are what you will get to see in this part of Thailand.
Krabi is located in Southern Thailand near Phuket. You can fly down from Bangkok or Phuket into Krabi Airport. The Airport is 15 KMs from Krabi town. There is a Bus connection as well to Krabi from Bangkok. If you don’t want a long Bus journey, you can take the Train from Bangkok to Surat Thani and then reach Krabi via Bus.
Airport Bus is a cheap and safe mode to get to the town. It costs 90 Baht from Airport to Krabi Town. Airport Taxi will cost 400 Baht for the same journey. Songthaew or the local Taxi is a convenient mode to commute within Krabi on land. For hopping across islands, Long Tail Boats are the best option. However, Long Tail Boats depart only if there are 8 passenegers!
In my opinion, the best time to visit Krabi is between February and April. Krabi is less crowded in this period and weather is pleasant. The Sea is also calm during this time of the year.
The popular season for Tourism is from Nov-Apr when Krabi is dry. December- January is when the traffic peaks and prices skyrocket. The average temp is 30 degrees in November which goes up to 34 by March. Visibility is best for underwater activities from Nov till Mid March after which Plankton population goes up obstructing the view. The Rainy season is from May- Oct.
Hat Noppharat Thara is part of Mu Koh Phi Phi Marine Park and is a lovely beach. The main attraction of this beach are hermit crabs and starfishes. The best thing about this Beach is that it is less crowded than the other beaches of Krabi. Hat Noppharat Thara offers splendid views of the karst islands and you can even explore the islands in Low Tide. But beware of Jellyfishes before you take the plunge!
The Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park area is dominated by Limestone and is an extension of the mountain range running down from Phang-Nga Province. Steep cliffs, large caves and dwarf trees make up the landscape. There is plenty of Coral life as well. Thorn coral, cub surface coral, leaf coral and tree coral are some of the varieties of Coral at Mu Koh Phi Phi.
Laem Phra Nang comprises of golden sand beaches and clear shallow waters. Limestone islets rise steeply out of the sea giving it a spectacular look. It is a great place for rock climbing, abseiling and caving. Shops are available for renting climbing equipment, guides and instructors. Laem Phra Nang can be reached by boat from either Krabi Town or Ao Nang Beach.
Ao Nang is a gorgeous white sand beach. You can take a Songthaew or shared pick-up truck to reach Ao Nang from Krabi town. Ao Nang offer breathtaking views of limestone crags set in the crystal clear blue waters of the Sea. Fossil Shell Beach is an interesting place to visit while at Ao Nang. The main attraction here is slates of compressed 40 million year old shellfish which look like concrete.
Ao Nang Tailors are pretty reputed and so you can also consider getting a 3-piece tailor-made suit. The Suit will be made ready in 24 hours.
Kao Ping-Gan is popularly known as James Bind Island as the James Bond Movie, Man with golden Gun, was partly filmed here. Kao Ping-Gan means literally leaning mount. Kao Ping-Gan is a rock split in two parts. While the smaller half has slid down, what is left appears to be leaning.
Mangrove Swamp Boating is a fascinating ride as theKrabi River is full of mangrove swamps. While organized tour is available you can even hire a boat with a local guide. The tour highlight is the pair of spectacular limestone islands rising over 100 meters above the water's surface. In fact this feature has now become the symbol for Krabi.
The Viking Cave is located in Phi Phi Don Island. It is a large cave with ancient drawings of Viking Ships. Legend says Pirates passing through used to take shelter here from the elements, transfer cargo and repairs. These 15 meter tall caves house Swift Nests which are a key ingredient for Birds Nest Soup, a Chinese delicacy. Local inhabitants from nearby areas have been coming here for the Nests since generations.
The Chao Ley or "Sea Gypsies" are traditional inhabitants of Krabi. Fishing and diving is their main means of livelihood. The traditional ways of these people are simple and unique. They use tools like nets and spears to forage for food. Leftover food is dried on top of their boats and bartered for other necessities at local markets. The way of life of the Sea Gypsies can be seen in the yearly sea gypsy sailing ritual held in May on Koh Lanta, Koh Pu and Koh Cham.
Krabi is the oldest site of Human settlement in Thailand. Homo sapiens have supposed to have inhabited Krabi and the surrounding areas as far back as 35000 years. Krabi used to be known as 'Ban Thai Samor' in olden times when it was a part of the Kingdom of Ligor which used to be around the present day Nakhon Si Thammarat. By the 19th century Pakasai, Khlong Pon, and Pak Lao were the 3 boroughs that made up Krabi. In 1872 King Chulalongkorn, declared Krabi as a town. Since, then Krabi has come a long as a premier Vacation destination of Thailand.
For my travelogue on another beach with tranquil lagoons and golden sand in Queensland Australia, visit Mackay.